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Published 24 April 2019
The NHS's fight against sepsis stepped up a gear on 1 April 2019, when its standard contract was amended to require all NHS Trusts in England to comply with sepsis guidance that was first published in September 2017.
The guidance, entitled "Sepsis Guidance Implementation Advice for Adults", was drawn up by NHS England in collaboration with NICE, the Royal Colleges of GPs and Physicians, and also the UK Sepsis Trust.
This guidance, and the contractual obligation that has now been placed on NHS Trust's to comply with it, is just one part of the objective set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to ensure that patients presenting at hospitals with the most serious illness and injuries are given the best possible care in the shortest possible time, potentially saving thousands of lives.
As well as saving lives and avoiding serious injury, compliance with NHS England's guidance is also likely to result in a reduction in claims relating to alleged delay in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, thereby potentially saving millions of pounds for the NHS. NEWS charts, if properly completed, will form important documentary evidence that will demonstrate that the clinicians appropriately monitored the patient and acted upon any clinical deterioration. This evidence will greatly assist in defending claims and will help avoid the circumstances that give rise to claims arising in the first place.
Our national teams of healthcare lawyers have extensive experience of supporting and advising healthcare providers. We are on hand to provide advice on how to ensure that your systems and training confirm with the sepsis guidance.
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